Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Raheem Sterling reveals agony of growing up without a dad as he covers GQ

Manchester City forward, Raheem Sterling has spoken of his agony after his dad was shot dead at the age of two.

Sterling, 24, was raised by his grandmother after his mother, Nadine, made the decision to leave him and his sister in Jamaica to go to England to get a better degree to give them a better life.

Now father of two children, Sterling has revealed how tough experiences has shaped him into the person he is today.

Talking about having no memories of his dad, he told GQ: "Sometimes it’s tough, but everything happens for a reason.

"Now, having my own kids, I make sure I give them that love from the father figure that I didn’t have. And I think that’s probably helped me feel better as well.”

Sterling remained in Jamaica with his grandmother until the age of five before his doting mother eventually moved his family to London.

It was at the age of 11 when his amazing talent was spotted by Queens Park Rangers when he was offered a contract.

It was a far cry from life in Jamaica when he would be brutally hit by a belt at school if he got in trouble.

On his first impressions of England, he said: "At first it was tough. You know, school was different.

"I kind of go away with more in school here, but when I was in Jamaica it was zero tolerance. Belts. I think the government over there has brought that down now, but there were times it was brutal.”

Sterling's amazing rise has seen him become one of the Premier League's most lethal forwards after scoring 17 goals last season.

With success comes money and the former Liverpool man is just grateful that he can give his mother the life she deserves.

He said: "I’m just grateful. When you get to this sort of level, this is the earning you can have.

"When I was at QPR it was just for pure love of playing football. As you get older you start to understand what comes into play.

"I’m grateful I can put my mum - the most important person in my life - in a position that she doesn’t have to work again, even though she still chooses to sometimes, and just to be able to support my family.”

Sterling's level has improved dramatically under the guidance of Man City boss Pep Guardiola.

The Spaniard's man-management towards Sterling has been so demanding that even after their FA Cup final win over Watford, after scoring a hat-trick, he was still lecturing him on how to improve.

He admits that never feeling comfortable in the squad is getting the best out of his game.

Sterling added: "He has challenged me, never let me be comfortable. Every year he has bought a new winger. So for me it’s like, “Cool. OK. I’ve done OK.” And now, the last season, he’s just got another one.”

“He’s demanding, but it’s good. It makes you want to do better and - I don’t know how to explain this - makes you want to prove to him and show him every time you go on the field you’re playing for your position in his team, because of the numbers we have and the quality we have as well.”

The England ace admitted that friendships in football can be rare and he is likely to stay close mates with probably "three or four" players.

He puts it down to big egos - something he hates.

"It’s hard to get close with your teammates….

"We all do the same thing and I like to be around my friends that are normal guys. The one thing I can’t take is the ego. I like people that are just chilled. I’m not saying every player is, but everyone has their little diva moment.”

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